Poorest Cities In Michigan For 2020


We used science and data to determine which places in Michigan are basically dead broke.

Join RoadSnacks
Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the poorest places in Michigan.

Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.

Michigan brings to mind images of Lansing, beautiful landscapes, and some of the best people you'll find in the good ole US of A.

However, like all states, Michigan has certain places that are going on hard times. These places have an above average percent of people that are living in poverty, out of work, or not making as much as they should be.

With all the talk about income inequality going on around the country, we thought it prudent to take a look at the places in each state that are struggling to make it even as the economy continues to improve. So we set our sites on bringing attention to the places in Michigan that could use a helping hand.

To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 148 places in Michigan with more than 5,000 people.

Again, this isn't a commentary on the people that live there or the vibrant culture and traditions of these places. Instead, it's just a look at the facts.

What's the poorst city in Michigan? According to the facts, Highland Park is the poorest place in Michigan for 2020.

Rich people more your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the richest places in Michigan or the most dangerous.

For more on how we calculated the top ten, and for more information about these places, read on.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the poorest states in America or the poorest cities in America.

For more Michigan reading, check out:

The 10 Poorest Cities In Michigan For 2020

Highland Park, MI

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 10,915
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $17,550 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 23.9% (1st highest)
Poverty Rate: 45.9% (3rd highest)
More on Highland Park:  Data | Photos

Highland Park, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in Michigan thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.

The city of 10,915 people averages the 1st lowest median household income in Michigan and the 3rd highest poverty rate. At the very least, the cost of living ranks in the bottom 15% of place in the state, so things like housing are relatively affordable.

Benton Harbor, MI

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 9,920
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $20,232 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 17.1% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 46.9% (2nd highest)
More on Benton Harbor:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Michigan is Benton Harbor.

The city ranks as having the 2nd highest incidence of poverty and 2nd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate 'only' ranks as the 5th highest in the Wolverine State.

River Rouge, MI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 7,536
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 5)
Median Income: $27,038 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 21.1% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 40.1% (8th highest)
More on River Rouge:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, River Rouge's median income ranks as the 6th lowest.

And that's a sign that there's a relatively substantial jump in the quality of the economy from second to third place on our list. The poverty rate is 40.074309978768575% and ranks near the bottom of places in the state.

But what makes up for the relatively low incomes of the city is its low cost of living. The income you do make here goes further than in most parts of the Wolverine State.

Flint, MI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 97,161
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Income: $27,717 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 20.9% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 40.4% (6th highest)
More on Flint:  Data | Photos

Flint ranks as the fourth poorest place in Michigan.

The town ranks as having the 8th lowest median household income and the 6th highest incidence of poverty in the state.

That being said, there's still a ton of cultural diversity in the city as it hosts many events throughout the year.

Detroit, MI

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 677,155
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Income: $29,481 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 17.3% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 36.4% (10th highest)
More on Detroit:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Michigan is Detroit.

The city ranks as having the 10th lowest median income in the state. However, an extremely low cost of living prevents a good number of folks from living in poverty as the poverty rate only ranks as the 10th highest in Michigan.

Still not the best news for Detroit.

Muskegon Heights, MI

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 10,735
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Income: $29,245 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 16.7% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 37.9% (9th highest)
More on Muskegon Heights:  Data | Photos

Muskegon Heights ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Wolverine State.

It ranks as having the 9th highest incidence of poverty and the 6th highest unemployment rate.

Hamtramck, MI

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 21,941
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Income: $25,478 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.3% (18th highest)
Poverty Rate: 49.1% (1st highest)
More on Hamtramck:  Data | Photos

Hamtramck places as the seventh poorest city in Michigan.

The city of over 21,941 ranks as having the 1st highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

Ecorse, MI

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 9,372
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Income: $27,241 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.4% (8th highest)
Poverty Rate: 33.0% (14th highest)
More on Ecorse:  Data | Photos

Ecorse ranks as the eighth poorest city in Michigan.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 8th highest in the state.

Saginaw, MI

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 48,997
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Income: $29,885 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.9% (7th highest)
Poverty Rate: 34.5% (13th highest)
More on Saginaw:  Data | Photos

Saginaw couldn't stay out of the top ten poorest places in Michigan; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 11th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Saginaw ranks as having the 13th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Michigan.

Big Rapids, MI

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,392
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Income: $25,194 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.1% (27th highest)
Poverty Rate: 40.3% (7th highest)
More on Big Rapids:  Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Michigan is Big Rapids.

The city of 10,392 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Wolverine State.

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Michigan for 2020

The first thing that comes to most people's minds when they think about determining the poorest places is to simply the poverty rate. That is, the number of people living below a federally established level of income for a household of a certain size.

However, we don't think that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the "poorest places". So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2014-2018 American Community Survey:

  • Poverty Level
  • Median Household Income adjusted for the cost of living
  • Unemployment Rate

The "median household income adjusted for the cost of living" attempts to gauge how expensive it is to live in a place and how that impacts the quality of life. For example, a town might have fewer people living below the official poverty line, but the cost of living is so high they'd still feel poor.

The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for improvement in the city or town. If more people are employed, the brighter the future looks and vice versa.

After we collected the data for all 148 places with more than 5,000 people in Michigan, we ranked each place from 1 to 148 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the poorest.

We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a "Poor Score" with the place having the lowest overall Poor Score, Highland Park, crowned the "Poorest Place In Michigan For 2020". You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Poorest Places In Michigan For 2020

Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the poorest places in Michigan, we weren't sure what we'd encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in Michigan.

When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very bottom of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.

If you're curious enough, here are the richest cities in Michigan, according to data:

    Richest: East Grand Rapids
    2nd Richest: Beverly Hills
    3rd Richest: Northville

For more Michigan reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Michigan

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Highland Park 10,915 45.9%
2 Benton Harbor 9,920 46.9%
3 River Rouge 7,536 40.1%
4 Flint 97,161 40.4%
5 Detroit 677,155 36.4%
6 Muskegon Heights 10,735 37.9%
7 Hamtramck 21,941 49.1%
8 Ecorse 9,372 33.0%
9 Saginaw 48,997 34.5%
10 Big Rapids 10,392 40.3%
11 Dowagiac 5,779 35.3%
12 Inkster 24,615 32.9%
13 Muskegon 37,969 31.8%
14 Pontiac 60,116 31.9%
15 Albion 8,324 28.6%
16 Alma 9,051 29.5%
17 Jackson 32,800 30.0%
18 East Lansing 48,374 41.3%
19 Mount Pleasant 25,691 35.0%
20 Houghton 7,934 43.6%
21 Lapeer 8,731 23.6%
22 Ypsilanti 20,939 32.2%
23 Port Huron 29,175 26.5%
24 Niles 11,265 30.0%
25 Kalamazoo 76,040 30.4%
26 Bay City 33,463 24.2%
27 Sault Ste. Marie 13,712 24.7%
28 Lansing 116,699 26.1%
29 Melvindale 10,419 28.2%
30 Hazel Park 16,592 24.5%
31 Springfield 5,208 22.2%
32 Cadillac 10,394 23.0%
33 Sturgis 10,855 26.7%
34 Hillsdale 8,125 24.1%
35 Greenville 8,394 22.9%
36 Marquette 20,932 26.5%
37 Adrian 20,640 23.1%
38 Battle Creek 51,475 22.3%
39 Lincoln Park 36,883 20.1%
40 Mount Clemens 16,358 21.6%
41 Alpena 10,086 21.5%
42 Ionia 11,187 24.8%
43 Burton 28,754 20.2%
44 Eastpointe 32,576 17.4%
45 Escanaba 12,298 18.6%
46 Romulus 23,515 18.4%
47 Dearborn 95,089 28.3%
48 Wayne 17,063 24.3%
49 Ludington 8,057 17.0%
50 Warren 135,192 19.8%
51 Taylor 61,574 18.1%
52 Harper Woods 13,959 14.5%
53 Menominee 8,214 17.4%
54 Roseville 47,603 16.8%
55 Owosso 14,604 19.4%
56 Three Rivers 7,680 22.3%
57 Eaton Rapids 5,216 19.8%
58 Manistee 6,071 15.2%
59 Ishpeming 6,482 16.9%
60 Grand Rapids 197,081 21.2%
61 Dearborn Heights 56,089 19.2%
62 Hastings 7,284 16.0%
63 Belding 5,737 16.4%
64 Holly 6,194 16.1%
65 St. Louis 7,198 15.6%
66 Monroe 19,947 18.6%
67 Charlotte 9,091 15.5%
68 Center Line 8,303 12.3%
69 Oak Park 29,849 14.2%
70 Westland 82,120 15.0%
71 Coldwater 12,284 14.9%
72 Iron Mountain 7,406 13.9%
73 Kingsford 5,022 17.8%
74 Madison Heights 30,226 17.4%
75 Grand Blanc 7,925 13.4%
76 Southfield 73,392 11.3%
77 Howell 9,597 14.1%
78 Wyandotte 25,138 11.7%
79 Marshall 7,021 13.0%
80 Wyoming 75,532 13.5%
81 Ann Arbor 120,641 22.6%
82 Auburn Hills 23,107 12.0%
83 Fenton 11,336 13.2%
84 Traverse City 15,474 12.2%
85 Holland 33,503 13.2%
86 Southgate 29,268 11.3%
87 Walled Lake 7,193 8.4%
88 Kentwood 51,525 12.2%
89 Petoskey 5,707 10.4%
90 St. Johns 7,910 13.7%
91 Midland 41,963 11.4%
92 Woodhaven 12,551 4.9%
93 Grand Haven 10,974 9.3%
94 Allegan 5,044 11.5%
95 Flat Rock 9,932 12.8%
96 Zeeland 5,581 9.3%
97 Fraser 14,638 11.1%
98 St. Clair Shores 59,781 8.3%
99 St. Clair 5,350 13.2%
100 Norton Shores 24,357 11.7%

How Is The Area In ?

 Poorest 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *